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Chapter 3. Shooting Videos Like a Professional > Add In-the-Lens Transitions

10. Add In-the-Lens Transitions

Before You Begin

3 About the Camera's Perspective

Transitions can be as simple as a fade-out after a scene ends or as complex as seeing one clip fly off the screen as another clip enters the picture. In reality, every scene transitions to the next, but unless you specify a different transition effect, your movie will simply switch from the final frame of one scene to the opening frame of the next scene and continue playing.

Depending on your video camera's capabilities, you usually have the ability to generate these two kinds of transitions:

  • Camcorder-Based Transitions— You might be able to enable simple transitions in your camcorder. When you end one scene and start shooting the next, your camcorder will insert the transition. When your camera automatically generates the transitions that you want, you have less work later during the editing process.

  • Software-Based Transitions— Programs such as Movie Maker can insert many kinds of transitions into your video and place them right where you want them to appear. You have more freedom and a far greater selection than video cameras can offer.


Transitions— Graphical segues that signal the end of one scene and the start of the next. Transitions are often called wipes.

This task explains how to turn transitions on using your camera's transition effects. Generally, if you won't be able to edit your video for some reason, perhaps such as when you're shooting an event and the event's sponsors want the video as soon as the event ends, you should set up transitions in your camera so the scenes smoothly transition between each other. If you are able to edit the video, don't set up special camera transitions because such transitions make it more difficult to separate scenes into clips during your editing process.

Enable Fades or Wipes

Refer to your camcorder's manual and find the menu setting that enables the automatic transitions, usually called a fade, or wipe. You should see a short menu of possible options to choose from.

Select the Transition

Pick the transition you'd like to use. A fade “fades” from black or white; a wipe or slide physically moves the new video into the frame while displacing the old video. A dissolve fades from one video to the next.


For more complex transitions, you'll have to rely on Movie Maker.

Record Your Scene

The transition effect happens automatically when you press your camera's Record button to start and stop recording. When you are done with the effect, remember to turn the transition feature off in the camera's menu.

Don't Turn Off Camera


If you fade out of a scene, feel free to power off your camera. The start of the next scene will not need to match the end frame of the scene from which you faded out.

If you turn off your camcorder after filming a scene, the ending position will be lost and the camera can't use a transition to ease into the next scene you film.

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